We got a glimpse of the exciting future which awaits North Ayrshire Swimming as our girls completed a stunning take-down of the mighty City of Glasgow at the Clyde Coast Winter League.
The eightsome aced the 8x50m squadron relay at the end of an intensely competitive afternoon of racing at the Citadel in Ayr against eleven other clubs from across the West of Scotland.
“Considering the number of call-offs we had and re-jigging the team in the week leading up to the championships, we managed to pull together a squad who held their own with some great individual performances,” comments Head Coach, Jess Wilkie.
Our eventual finishing position of sixth belied that we were within 17 points of the third placed team – Dumfries – and more than 50 points clear of the next team behind us.
Rachael Grant underlined her return to form by taking two maximum points scores in the 100m fly and 100m backstroke in the girls open category.
Fraser Kelly was a clear winner in the boys 100m fly with a new PB of 58.47.
Kate Stuart aced the 50m backstroke in the 10-year-old and unders, while Emma Binnie took nearly 2 seconds off her seed time to win the 50m breaststroke.
Both girls put in terrific stints to put North Ayrshire ahead of City of Glasgow at the start of the 8x50 relay, turning it into a two-way race from the outset.
The lead which was doggedly maintained by Isla Waller, Sophie Steele, Rachel McGuire and Heather Stuart before Leah Stark and Rachael Grant brought us home to thunderous applause from the gallery.
It was a remarkable display of team spirit and, according to Jess, a sign of the strength in depth across our squads to hold off a club the size of City of Glasgow.
“I thought Kate’s 50m backstroke was outstanding and Rachael and Leah really stepped up for the team and swam way faster than I’d expected.
“It was a good opportunity to see where the kids need to sharpen up and there’s definitely some work to be done on turns ahead of West District Junior and Senior Age Groups.
“The boys are coming through as well, but it will take a little more time to get them to the same standard as the girls.
“It was great to see so many parents supporting in the gallery and helping on poolside, and to our Secretary, Ann, who puts so much work into organising it.”
The raffle raised £247 for CHAS.